Who Watches the Watchmen?4:42 PM
by Rudolfo Carrillo
It was the first day of summer. I decided to livestream the March to End Police Brutality on a laptop in our living room. The internet network coverage was sketchy so the broadcast was interrupted on numerous occasions; I had the teevee running as well. To prevent boredom, this particular Sony Trinitron was switched on to “Doctor Who.”
I have never watched that show before, serio. All those years of the TARDIS and the Daleks and the Cybermen are mostly a mystery to me, and I was curious; I considered the potential for juxtaposition in relation to the livestreaming protest and was intrigued.
The march was civil yet passionate. The heat of our summer days can be devilish, inflammatory, but today it had no such effect on citizens who took to the streets asking for accountability, justice and tangible reform.
While all this was happening in reality, the Doctor was at the beginning of the sixth series, conspiring with President Nixon and fighting against some rather nasty, otherworldly creatures. They were a murderous, controlling lot and had a special power. This was their special power: Whenever you stopped looking at them, you forgot all about them.
This ability allowed the beings—who had large deformed heads and wore business suits—to get away with murder. By the way, the name of this fictional species of world-destroying maniacs was “The Silence.”
Anyway the protest was so peaceful and “Doctor Who” so fantastically unbelievable (compared to American stuff like “Star Trek” or “Forbidden Planet,” for example). I fell into a luxurious sleep. I dreamt of a world where authorities were responsible in their exercise of power, where government officials were accountable for events that happened on their watch and real reforms were carried out merrily in hopes of kindly serving the citizens of the state.
I also dreamt of endless plates of green chile enchiladas and heaps of fresh, hot latkes served with cold applesauce. (Hey, I’m on a diet, okay?)
When I awoke the marchers had mostly gone home; I decided to give up on Dr. Who because of continuity issues. I liked the way everyone on the show talked, though, and decided to try and incorporate that aspect of the series into my writing, for sauce. Meanwhile, a teevee news station reported a curiosity. Apparently, APD infiltrated yesterday’s march, placed an undercover agent among the hopeful humans.
The intelligence agent took photos, made himself familiar with the families and other folks gathered together, was practically invisible in mission and presence. But he was there, according to published reports, possibly following some administrator’s Nixonian agenda.
Unless I am forgetting something, that’s not cricket, I mean it’s just not on. The decades-long militarization of a municipal police force on display is one thing, but the remaking of these well-grounded protests as something espionage-worthy is either cruelly revisionist or crassly experimental.